In other clubs, we would surely have bowed after a few weeks of talks, but in Germany, and especially at Bayern Munich, we are not really used to seeing players force their departure. It does not fit into the club culture of the Bavarians. Surely more than elsewhere, the institution remains the strongest and will remain so. Even Franck Ribéry’s false start at Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 and 2010 had finally strengthened ties with the Frenchman. “I was torn, it had driven me crazy”, Ribéry had explained a few years later, returning to this episode. It was Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge who managed to convince him to stay. “They are classy men. They know how to run a business. And they know how to talk to people. They stood firm, because they needed me. »
Together, they ended up getting this famous and much sought after Champions League. Ribéry had to wait until 2013, but his patience was rewarded. The former Marseillais is still an idol in Bavaria. He even became Kaiser Frank, despite this episode. Time may also do its work for Robert Lewandowski. The situation is not quite the same for the Pole. After 8 years at Bayern winning everything, even the Champions League, the striker wants to look elsewhere. He said it and repeated it publicly many times. The club took note. But this time, management is not in a strong position. Lewandowski only has one year left on his contract. It is a question of saving face while studying the economic question. His departure was probably not planned, let alone without a transfer fee.
The German press does not digest
Bayern are slowly getting used to the idea that the man with 344 goals is going to leave but the way is not going well. The 33-year-old’s latest public statements are seen as disrespectful, tarnishing the story that links him to the Rekordmeister. “Which footballer would want to come to Bayern knowing that such a thing could happen to him? Where then is loyalty and respect? I’ve always been ready, I’ve had eight great years here, I’ve met so many great people and I want it to stay that way in my mind. I could understand if I had played here for two or four years, but after such a successful career, my willpower and support, loyalty and respect are probably more important than this case.” In Germany, we do not digest.
Even though Lewandowski has tried to calm things down since, citing misunderstood statements, the damage is done. Admired for his scoring skills, he is now reviled by the press and observers across the Rhine. We do not touch the institution. “Robert Lewandowski drags the successful years at FC Bayern through the mud and makes fun of Bayern fans. He didn’t deserve Gerd Müller’s legacy.”headlines the editorial by Pit Gottschalk, the editor of Sports1who writes further. “Lewandowski should not be surprised that his attempts to blackmail FC Bayern are interpreted as detrimental to the club. It doesn’t matter to him that he drags the eight years spent together in the mud and that the Bayern fans want to chase him to hell. He also accuses Barça of having supported this divorce.
Bayern try not to lose face
To Picture also, we advocate the club culture. “Stay strong, FC Bayern!” releases the daily, in reference to the famous article 17 of FIFA which would allow the striker to break his contract with Bayern for compensation corresponding more or less to the salary that the German club still has to pay him. For Picture, this case is also a way for management to establish its authority, which has been disputed for many weeks. Failure could force resignation. “I hope FC Bayern will take advantage of the Lewandowski affair to send a signal that contracts are still worth something. Especially since this is the perfect opportunity for controversial board members Hasan Salihamidzic (45) and Oliver Kahn (52) to score points. »
The best way to get Lewandowski back on his decision would be to attract the best players possible, the same argument presented by Nasser Al-Khelaïfi a year ago for Mbappé when Lionel Messi was presented. “After a difficult season, Kahn and Salihamidzic could emerge as big winners from this transfer period: keep Lewandowski, sign Liverpool star Sadio Mané (30). That’s Bayern! No club in the world could offer a better attack.”. The credibility of the Bavarian president is at stake. “One thing should be clear to Kahn: if he deviated from his publicly announced ban on change, he would lose all credibility. In keeping with his most famous quote, he would have defrocked and quit as CEO of Bayern after just one year.
A forced departure synonymous with the end of an era
For other elders, on the other hand, the game is already lost. We have to think about what’s next for Lothar Matthaüs, whose Bayern mistake was to flirt too much with Erling Haaland’s entourage. “The statements are a clear sign that Robert is very disappointed and does not feel valued. To me, money is not everything in this situation. If you play like Robert and you know the club are still interested in Haaland, it’s hard to accept. FC Bayern has every right to take a look. But it is also Lewandowski’s right to express himself in this way.assures the 1990 world champion and now a consultant for German television. “It’s too late now. This situation is not win-win but lose-lose. Both sides would lose if Robert were to stay.”he said a few days ago.
The most capped player in the German team (150 caps, 23 goals) is especially worried about the new page that will have to be written. The departure of Lewandowski means the end of an ultra-dominant era of Bayern Munich, marked by emblematic players like the Pole but also Neuer or Müller. The latter, who has been announced to be losing momentum for a few years, is nevertheless putting up a very good resistance (4x best passer in the Bundesliga in the last 5 seasons), in particular thanks to the technical relationship which binds him to his partner. “I am not only sorry for Bayern, the fans and the Bundesliga. I’m also a little worried about Thomas Müller, they both took advantage of each other a lot. Will he find such a complementary partner?” Nothing is less certain, for one or the other.
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